A Tale of Two Birds – the Vulture and the Eagle
posted at 9:18 pm on November 4, 2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Let’s sing a tale of two pieces of legislation. First, Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 100%) offered up her take on ObamaCare. SqueakerCare on a nutshell:
- Puts virtually all decisions about medical care in the hands, not of the patient, the doctor, or even the insurer, but in the iron fist of the federal government.
- Outlaws competition between insurance carriers:
- Must accept all applicants;
- Cannot charge more for subscribers with pre-existing medical conditions;
- All carriers must offer the same gold-plated plans;
- Carriers cannot sell outside their own states — yet they will also be subject to antitrust regulation; thus they must be completely governed by the federal government to avoid being sued (or indicted).
- Forces medical-care rationing:
- Rationing by waiting list (the “death queue“), where the feds hope that if they delay your treatment long enough, you will either go to some other country and pay for it — or better yet, just die;
- And rationing by the ObamaCare Payment Advisory Commission, or whatever they’ll cal it — that is, a “death panel” — just as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission decides how much the feds will pay for any Medicare procedure, or whether to cover it at all. No coverage, no care… unless you had the good sense to become a multi-millionaire.
- Mandates that all Americans buy a very expensive policy, like it or not.
- Includes a strong government-run health-care component.
- Rigs the game so that employers are virtually forced by economic necessity to dump their health-insurance programs and force employees into the mandatory government option. Most Americans will lose their current health insurance in favor of the government plan, whether they want to switch or not.
- Raises taxes by many hundreds of billions of dollars, not just on medical care but on pharmaceuticals and even medical devices.
- Dramatically raises the cost of medical care and prescription drugs for everyone. Except for members of Congress and senior White House staff, including the president; top government officials are all exempted from the restrictions and rationing of SqueakerCare.
- Speaking of that program, the Pelosi bill loots Medicare to the tune of half a trillion dollars — or more.
- Costs in excess of $1.2 trillion… and that’s just the amount Democrats are willing to admit!
That’s the obverse of the coin; a vulture is stamped on that face, for the Democratic bill of Nancy Pelosi is a carrion creature, feeding off the death of American medical care — and off the dead bodies of those who don’t survive the waiting lists, the payment advisory commissions, and the collapse of the prescription drug market.
But every coin has a reverse side as well. An eagle adorns the Republican face of the health-insurance reform coin. Here are the highlights of the bill just introduced by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH, 92%):
- Incentives for more subscribers to shift to a health savings account (HSA) and catastrophic-care insurance alternative; this puts health-care decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors, since all routine procedures and tests would be paid directly by the patient using his HSA, not by the insurance company. Every financial expert who has studied the issue agrees that the biggest cause of the rise in the cost of medical care is that “somebody else” pays for your treatment. When patients pay for themselves, they exercise more financial responsibility.
- GOPCare includes tort reform; it “caps non-economic jury awards in medical malpractice cases at $250,000,” thus reducing the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in “defensive medicine” — tests and procedures that are not medically warranted, whose only purpose is to stave off John Edwards, lawyers who turn the legal system into “jackpot justice.”
- The Boener plan “allows health insurance to be sold across state lines,” yet another cost-saving measure.
- It includes a permanent ban on federally funded abortions, except for cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.
- No mandates on employer, employee, or other American to offer or buy health insurance; no restriction on policies that companies can write (thus encouraging competition); and no regulation of what companies can charge for applicants with pre-existing conditions or whether they cover them at all.
Simple. Clean. Inexpensive. And above all, a plan that relies upon liberty, choice, Capitalism, and the American way of life… rather than the centrally controlled, authoritarian, liberal fascist approach written by congressional Democrats and egged on by the president.
The fundamental GOP philosophy is that if you make health care cheaper, then insurance will likewise become cheaper (Capitalism); and if insurance is cheaper, more people will buy it (Econ. 101). Everything in this bill is designed with that end in mind: Make health care cheaper by removing the perverse incentives of the “invisible foot” of government, driving costs up:
“As Leader Boehner has made clear, our proposal will focus on the No. 1 concern of the American people – reducing health care costs, and we do it at a price tag our nation can afford,” said spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier, though Republicans have not said how much their bill would cost.
“Our proposal will help struggling middle-class families and small businesses by increasing access to affordable, high-quality health care,” Ferrier said.
Everyone says a picture is worth a thousand words. Personally, I think a thousand words is a couple of good-sized paragraphs, but let’s not discuss my fiction here. Just for eye-candy, take a look at this, which I, er, borrowed from Jason Simon’s Farcebook page:
GOP bill (230 pages) vs. PelosiCare (1990 pages)
Pretty much says it all. (Reckon that means I can delete one my thousand-word paragraphs…)
Hip hip, chin chin.
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…